The fear of the world ending is more palpable these days than ever; it should be, considering every major civilization collapsed at some point. As we sleepwalk into oblivion, a recent online forum debated how the human race may end someday. Will we hit self-destruct, or will external factors be significant?
1. Roman Currency Lessons
A scholar says that, like America today, the Romans did their best to devalue their currency. They reduced the amount of money their silver and gold were worth at the same time they made a surplus of coins. When they devalued the metals and had too many coins, they tanked the value of their money, which led to hyperinflation until the empire fell.
This depends on where you live and what your circumstances are. One observer noted that people who live in war zones or high-conflict areas are technically already living in a collapsed society.
A tech hawk noted that our blind faith in technology is leading us into a progress trap, where the tools we're working with become more advanced than we are.
4. Fossil Fuel Dependence
With oil, gas, and coal finite resources, we will one day have no choice but to use more renewables or nuclear power. This scenario scares one commenter, who warned we've already seen how changes in fossil fuel supply can have an impact on the world.
5. Misguided Fiscal Policy
Will an over-reliance on military expenditure be a long-term problem for the population? One United States-based commenter expressed that if the government truly cared for its people, it would reduce military spending by at least ten percent and funnel the extra money into programs like universal healthcare and infrastructure spending.
6. A Super-Volcano Eruption
Cataclysmic eruptions are the stuff of Hollywood legend, though we may be closer to a volcanic extinction event than we know. And there's no way to predict when an eruption could occur!
7. Who Cares?
Whatever happens, if there is a real extinction happening, you can bet social media will be divided over who started it. A fatalistic commenter pointed out that we spend more time prepping for a hypothetical robot uprising while our culture is becoming more and more socially divided.
8. A Geomagnetic Storm
A space theorist noted another Carrington event would destroy our power grid and wireless systems, rendering us offline for years. The Carrington event was a major solar flare-caused geomagnetic storm in 1859, which caused major blackouts and extensive damage to the power supply.
9. An Inequality Tipping Point
Globally, we have leveled up somewhat over the past 50 years, though industrialized countries have seen massive wealth inequality that only got worse after the global meltdown of 2020-2021.
10. The World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum has been front of many minds recently, with growing concern over the organization's influence in global circles, especially concerning population control by fiat. When you hear people in these echelons openly discussing lowering the world's population, is it that far-fetched?
11. Fertility and Birth Rates
Industrialized nations are experiencing plummeting birth rates. For example, Japan experienced an 800,000 drop in population this year, after every prefecture in the land had more deaths than births. This fall has prompted Japan's Prime Minister to call for an emergency, even after record-high foreign immigration rates. Many countries are set to follow, including much of Western Europe.
12. Climate Change
A fearful commenter said that they believe when our climate collapses, society will follow. I am on the fence with this; while I agree our climate can present many issues, I have faith in technological advances — such as the Ocean Cleanup Foundation — that will mitigate most of them.
13. Crippling Debt
Debt ownership is the commodity that led partly to the 2008 economic crisis. With many developing nations in debt, there are concerns of widespread collapse.
14. Food Security
These past few years, food prices have soared, causing many families to lower their dining standards. Furthermore, degraded soils have led to devastating crop failures in some countries, pushing prices further. With this curve moving to a logical outcome, food shortages could lead to a global catastrophe.